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Missouri Western defensive lineman Tyler Baska, right, runs a drill while coach Scorpio Horn, left, looks on at Spratt Stadium.

When it comes to play along the line of scrimmage, the Missouri Western Griffons hope to dominate the point of attack each week.

On the defensive side of the ball, that starts with the group up front that was among the best in the MIAA.

Missouri Western ranked third in the MIAA with 24 sacks for 150 yards a season ago, trailing only Pittsburg State and Northwest Missouri State in 2018. The Griffons also ranked third in the MIAA in rushing defense, giving up just 130.8 yards per game on the group at an average of 3.5 yards per carry.

Back for his junior year is Tyler Baska, who ranked among the best in the MIAA with 7.5 tackles for loss a season ago. He also tallied 3.5 sacks a season ago.

Baska started all 12 games and led the defensive line with 51 tackles on his way to a third team All-MIAA season.

The most experienced returner comes in sophomore Arnold Crayton, who started all 12 games, totaling 6.5 TFLs and three sacks. He also had two tipped passes, a blocked field goal and a fumble recovery.

Also returning on the line is junior Marcus Brown, who played in all 12 games a season ago. He totaled 30 tackles and 6.5 tackles for loss. He forced two fumbles and had an interception against Missouri Southern.

The Griffons must replace Markel Fluker and Kyle Dumler, who combined for eight sacks in 2018.

Brandon Zenner can be reached

at brandon.zenner@newspressnow.com.

Follow him on Twitter: @NPNowZenner.